This pictorial source shows farmers using machines for farming in the USSR. Under Stalin's rule, production of crops was vital, as they needed to use the grains to fund the development of the country. Therefore, to increase productivity, machines were given to farmers to boost the productivity. This made the lives of the farmers easier. Working hours and wages were also fixed, to ensure equality among the people, and to ensured people had a goal to work towards, their monthly wage. This source was chosen, as it shows the need to rapidly industrialise the USSR, and productivity needed to be heightened. With machines aiding the people, productivity increased, hence strengthening the economy of the country. Therefore, the USSR benefitted under Stalin's rule.
This source is a poster of factories, with a caption stating "Smoke of chimneys is the breath of Soviet Russia" This signifies the importance of industrialisation, and indeed, the industrialisation brought huge and positive impacts to the country's economy. Industries such as Coal, Steel Oil and Electricity seen a significant increase in production, and it pushed the economy of the country forward. This source was chosen, as it is a poster, which I infer that it may be propaganda for more people to join the workforce, in order to rapidly industrialise the country. Using figure of speech, it is telling the people that industrialisation brings the USSR life. This shows how important Stalin viewed industrialisation, which shows that Stalin had great vision. The economy of the USSR was boosted and strengthened, therefore, Stalin's rule benefitted the USSR.
This video shows the collectivisation of the USSR, where private farming is no longer allowed, and all of the citizens' crops were confiscated. Despite the unwillingness from the citizens, collectivisation was still carried out, which resulted in the famine that killed 7 million people. This video is chosen, as it shows the hardships that citizens had to face under Stalin's rule. Since the communist ideology has only one class of citizens, the rich, had their valuables confiscated by the state and over 3 million died. Ordinary Russians were also threatened and treated badly by the soldiers. This shows the heartlessness and how inhumane Stalin is, and serves as evidence to prove that the USSR did not benefit under Stalin's rule.
This cartoon emphasises on the importance of building more schools and education. After Stalin came to power, Stalin sought to educate the children in the Scientific and Engineering realm, to increase productivity and increase their value to the industry. This source was chosen, as it shows the importance education is to Stalin. Literacy rates increased tremendously, as Stalin emphasized vocational training and made school compulsory to combat illiteracy to improve efficiency in the workplace. Therefore, this source shows that Stalin's rule was beneficial to the USSR.
This picture shows women of the USSR joining the workforce under Stalin's Rule. Before Stalin came to power, women had little to no rights to decide over their own lives, and they had no freedom. Their role in society are domestic roles, such as caring for children, cleaning, cooking etc. However, after Stalin came to power, women were granted equal rights as men, and had more freedom over their lives. They are allowed to join the workforce, which can boost the economy of the USSR tremendously with heightened productivity that comes with more workers. However, this does not come with a price. Women are expected to fufill both roles as a housewife and worker, which makes their lives harder. Even though child care services were provided, they were poorly maintained. This shows that Stalin only viewed the growth of the country as importance, but not the welfare of the women and children. Therefore, this source was chosen to prove that Stalin's rule did not benefit the USSR.
This is a Newspaper Article that depicts the Famine in the USSR from 1932-33. The Soviet famine of 1932–33 was a man-made famine that affected the major grain-producing areas of the Soviet Union, leading to millions of deaths. The photographs shows livestocks dead due to a shortage of food, and citizens' crops were seized. This shows the hardships that the citizens' of the USSR had to face under Stalin's rule. This source was chosen, as it shows the truth and reality of the famine, despite being denied by the USSR for propaganda purposes. As farms were owned by the state, citizens could not keep the crops for themselves, and crops were confiscated to raise funds for industrial machinery development and growth of the country. This worsened the situation of the famine, and citizens starved. This shows the heartlessness of Stalin, putting growth ahead of the lives of citizens. Therefore Stalin's Rule was not beneficial for the USSR.
In conclusion, Stalin was not a saviour of the USSR. One may not argue that he brought the USSR forward tremendously economically and industrially. Economy was heightened drastically, Industries developed rapidly, and Productivity increased. However, all of these does not justify his inhumane acts. Firstly, the collectivisation. He forcefully confiscated all of the harvested grains from the people during the great famine. He valued the progress of the country over his own citizens. The lives of millions were taken away by his selfishness and heartlessness. Secondly, the series purges he carried out to eliminate all opposition and threats to the communist ideology. This killed more than 3 million peasants, within them includes many intellectuals, educated people, experienced members of the military, that if he kept alive, would have brought the country to greater success. His paranoia killed many innocent people, and instilled great fear on to many people.